Bringing back a series of pieces from the past three years, we’re going to check each position group on the New Orleans Saints and discuss how they improve the Saints’ chances of making a run in 2019. On to the what has become a strength on defense: the secondary.
To view previous parts, see below:
When the New Orleans Saints cornerbacks had its ups and downs in 2018. 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore seemed to struggle out of the gate. Ken Crawley largely regressed in 2018 to the point the Saints were forced to trade for former 1st round pick Eli Apple from the New York Giants. The Saints signed former Saint Patrick Robinson to lock down the slot, but he was lost to injury in late September. The team was forced to rely on PJ Williams for slot duty, and he more than held his own.
Between PJ, Crawley, Lattimore, and Apple, the Saints had five interceptions in the regular season with Lattimore adding a couple of key interceptions in the divisional round against the Philadelphia Eagles.
As it stands now, that core group of four is slated to return in 2019.
So here’s why they’re better in 2019:
The biggest reason we can expect the Saints cornerbacks to be better in 2019 is because we should be expecting a full season of Eli Apple instead of Ken Crawley and a healthy Patrick Robinson in the slot returning.
While Patrick Robinson was often PRob-lematic for the Saints during his first stint with the team, he was able to reinvent himself as a slot defender for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Patrick Robinson pick-six (Inside The NFL) pic.twitter.com/hBHiLqJkvk— PJ Arcega-Whiteside (@PJbleedsgreen) January 24, 2018
We saw glimpses of Robinson’s ball skills with the Saints, but never consistently. Check out this play from 2017:
Patrick Robinson's 99-yard pick 6 vs the Eagles pic.twitter.com/ddXIWWSkKv— Lan. (@lphan_mpc) March 28, 2017
With Eli Apple, he struggled as a member of the Giants in 2018, and failed to log a single interceptions with the G-Men last season. After joining the Saints, he picked off two passes almost immediately.
With a healthy Robinson, a returning Apple, and a budding superstar in Lattimore, the Saints’ cornerbacks should have a solid year in 2019. If you’re a betting person, bet the “over” on 5 interceptions from this group in 2019.